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International banking and transmission of the 1931 financial crisis

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  • Olivier Accominotti

Abstract

In May to July 1931, a series of financial panics shook central Europe before spreading to the rest of the world. This article explores the role of cross‐border banking linkages in propagating the central European crisis to Britain and the US. Using archival bank‐level data, the article documents US and British banks’ exposure to central European frozen credits in 1931. Central European lending was mostly done by large and diversified commercial banks in the US and by small and geographically specialized merchant banks/acceptance houses in Britain. Differences in the organization of international bank lending explain why the central European crisis disturbed few US banks but endangered many British financial institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Accominotti, 2019. "International banking and transmission of the 1931 financial crisis," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(1), pages 260-285, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:72:y:2019:i:1:p:260-285
    DOI: 10.1111/ehr.12736
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12736
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    Cited by:

    1. Accominotti, Olivier & Lucena, Delio & Ugolini, Stefano, 2019. "The Origination and Distribution of Money Market Instruments: Sterling Bills of Exchange during the First Globalisation," CEPR Discussion Papers 14058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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